Saturday, January 18, 2020

Stoner Rock #42


STONER ROCK #42

 A mix of stoner rock history merged seamlessly (I hope) with modern stoner rock.

I am proud of this one and hope you like it:
A review or two next weekend.

 -ULTRA-

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


2019 Top Twenty Stoner Rock Albums (#10-1)

Here are my top ten albums of 2019, as a playlist for those who have the time to listen.  
You can see my picks for albums #11 through 20 in the post below.
Each tune is one I've never posted or included in a playlist.  
Since these are the best albums of the year, they're deep enough that I don't need to 
re-post in order to make a great playlist:

          

#10: "Haze County" by Crypt Trip

          Is is possible for a throwback rock band 
          to sound more authentic than the actual   
          era they based their sound on?  Nobody
          does retro '70's rock better than Crypt Trip.  
          Top ten two years in a row






#9:    "Ancients" by Black Lung 
        
          Flawless rock album, top to bottom.  
          Fresh songwriting, expert production,
          great energy.  Can't say enough about
          this one    






#8:   "Reign Of The Orion" by Spaceslug

         Top ten three years in a row, Spaceslug 
         is not only prolific, but manage to   
         evolve with each album while  
         maintaining their disctinctive sound.
         One of the greatest heavy bands of
         this decade.




#7:    "Head Pains" by Rainbows Are Free

          I love this band.  Inspired songwriting,  
          great musicianship and elite vocals.
          I'm still finding new things to 
          appreciate in this album.







#6:   "Opera Villains" by Glitter Wizard

         This album is a masterpiece of hard
         rock, with as much thought put into it
         as a classic opera.  Not many bands 
         have produced an album this great.
         A timeless work of art.



#5:   "Death And Consolation" by The Well
          
        Distinctive songwriting, expert
        musicianship, and Ian and Lisa's 
        unique, haunting complementary
        vocals.  Another must-own release by
        one of the bands that put Austin Texas
        on the stoner rock map.





#4:   "Strange Vibration" by Skunk
          
        Here's another band that almost sounds 
        more like 1970's rock than the actual
        vintage bands themselves.  Brilliant 
        writing too.  Skunk sat at number 1 on
        my best albums list in 2017, and this
        album is just as good.  I'll be playing
        this album years from now.




#3:   "Doomus Abruptus, Vol. 1" 
          by Scissorfight

         Portsmouth, New Hampshire's stoner 
         rock legends have risen from the ashes 
         to bring us another raunchy, gritty and
         dirty stoner rock classic.  This album is 
         entertaining from beginning to end, 
         and maintains the unrelenting energy
         Scissorfight is known for.



#2:   "The Brink" by Solace

        Another seething, relentless classic from  
        one of my favorite stoner rock bands of 
        all time.  Worried about the loss of 
        vocalist Jason?  Fear not.  Solace has 
        knocked this one clear out of the park. 
        There isn't a Solace album that I don't
        still listen to, and now I have another.




#1:   "Fear Inoculum" by Tool
          
        When the greatest rock band of all time
        releases a new album, it naturally must 
        sit on top of any top ten list.  While it  
        can be easily argued that Tool isn't really
        a stoner rock band, it's inarguable that 
        Tool appeals to heavy metal, stoner,
        prog and classic rock fans alike.  Tool's 
        music is genius, and in a year when this
        band finally agreed to release their music 
        digitally, they have also set a new 
        standard for physical copies, with a video
                                                                        and music player included with the CD.




Stay safe tonight and make sure that rock music is played loud as you welcome in the new decade

-ULTRA  

Monday, December 30, 2019


2019 Top Twenty Stoner Rock Albums (#20-11)

Each tune is one I've never posted or included in a playlist.  
Since these are the best albums of the year, they're deep enough that I don't need to 
re-post in order to make a convincing playlist:











 


          


#20: "The Riven" by The Riven

          This Swedish band can hang with the best.  
          They produced some of the best music in    
           2017 and 2019.








#19: "Desert Sessions Vols. 11 & 12" 
          by Desert Sessions

          Josh Homme doesn't produce music that's  
          not worthy of a "best of" list     









#18:  "Great Hallucinations" by Nightstalker

         Much like AC/DC, Nightstalker Sticks with  
         their formula and manages to stay fresh  
   








#17:  "Wizzerd" by Wizzerd 

          Sincere, imaginative and heavy.  
          Top 20 is a no-brainer.








#16: "Bad Taste" by Mournful Cries

         Distinctive and special, Mournful
         Cries provide excellent songwriting,
         haunting vocals and a great old-school
         heavy sound
         



#15: "Awakened From The Tomb" by Witchers Creed 
          
        Stellar debut album by yet another great 
        Swedish throwback hard rock band








#14:  "John Garcia And The Band Of Gold" by
          John Garcia and the Band of Gold

        The first new album I bought in 2019, and I  
        found myself still listening to it in December. 
        This is  John Garcia's best work since Kyuss,
        and that's saying a lot.  Every tune is worthy. 
        





#13:  "Are You Nervous?" 
          by Swedish Death Candy

         I found this from following Cities On Flame 
         on Bandcamp and could not have been more
         pleasantly surprised.  Mixing elements from 
         hard rock, progressive, stoner, punk and pop 
         rock, this album is fascinating and Swedish 
         Death Candy (from England) are brilliant 
         songwriters and musicians



#12:  "Modern Panic" by Deaf Radio

        Top-shelf rock from Athens that will appeal to  
        a wide variety of tastes, seamlessly blending 
        multiple genres.  It's clear that Deaf Radio  
        are Queens Of The Stone Age fans, but no 
        one  can accuse them of  being QOTSA 
        clones.   Every tune is great here.





#11:  "Everybody's Going To Die" 
          by Church Of The Cosmic Skull

        Three must-own albums in four years.  Five 
        singers,  each who on their own would make 
        a good band great.  Songwriting that comes 
        from so many places it's created something
        new.  Cello and viola in an album that 
        redefines what it means for music to be 
        heavy.Your collection needs this album.





#10 through #1 tomorrow night!
ULTRA  

Friday, December 27, 2019



BEST TUNES OF THE DECADE

Here lies one tune from each year, 2010 - 2019, where each tune is arguably the best of the year.

Play it as loud as ten years of pent up energy and aggression deserves, and please share:



I expect to be adding another best of the decade playlist to this post, composed by a local musician and lover of heavy music.  Check back right here, as I will add this second Best Of playlist as soon as I receive it.

Many thanks to Fuzzy Cracklins, promoter of great underground heavy music, for publishing my list on his website.

I've been following Fuzzy on Bandcamp for a while now, getting exposed to lots of great music by seeing what he's been buying.

Rock On
-ULTRA

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

TOP TEN  ROCK TUNES OF 2019

Finishes with my pick for #1 Rock tune of 2019, but otherwise the order is simply determined by nice transitions.  These are the tunes I've been playing the most often this year, in no particular order:


Top 20 Albums of 2019 and Top 10 Tunes of the Decade coming this week

-ULTRA

Sunday, December 22, 2019

BEST SONGS OF 2019 (Last Third)
 Keep an eye on this site.  In these last days of December I'll be posting:
top ten tunes of the year
top 20 albums of the year
dual top ten tunes of the decade playlists, hopefully featuring a playlist from one of the great promoters of underground rock
(check back to find out who)

-ULTRA

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A CONFLUENCE OF RINGERS

It happens every year; a ton of great music comes out at the very end of the year that upsets my top 10 lists, without fail.  What's happened in the last 16 days however, is unprecedented.  Check out the rock and roll genius of these albums by four stoner rock major-leaguers:

SPACESLUG: REIGN OF THE ORION

Spaceslug has produced five albums in four years now.  This volume of production might signal a product that is either of lesser quality, or is simply more of the same each time.  Neither of these is true with Spaceslug.  Not only is each album truly great, but they keep evolving, with each new release offering something the previous album did not.  
Here is one of five great tunes.  This is "Spacerunner":

Spaceslug is (l-r):
Jan Rutka - Bass/Vocals
Kamil Ziółkowski - Drums/Vocals
Bartosz Janik - Guitars/Vocals




RAINBOWS ARE FREE: HEAD PAINS
I've been waiting for this one for what feels like forever.  Brandon Kistler's voice would gain attention even with sub-par musicians, but the rest of the band is elite as well, making Rainbows Are Free a truly special band.  "Shapeshifter" might be my favorite track, but I already posted it so here's another great one called "Covered In Dawn":

Rainbows Are Free are from Oklahoma.  They are:
Brandon Kistler - Vocals
Richie Tarver - Lead Guitar/Synth/Backup Vocals
Joey Powell - Guitars
Jason Smith - Bass/Piano
Bobby Onspaugh - Drums/Auxiliary Percussion





CHURCH OF THE COSMIC SKULL:
EVERYBODY'S GOING TO DIE
Much like Spaceslug, Chuch Of The Cosmic Skull just keeps evolving, and have produced groundbreaking albums two years in a row.  This band is stacked with talent, and have truly done things that no one has done before.  Five great musicians and six great singers with inspired songwriting have produced an album that's important musically on a scale with the likes of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.

Church Of The Cosmic Skull are:

Bill Fisher - Guitar & Vocals;
Michael Wetherburn - Hammond Organ & Vocals
Amy Nicholson - Electric Cello & Vocals
Loz Stone - Drums
Sam Lloyd - Bass & Vocals
Jo Joyce - Vocals;
Caroline Cawley - Vocals





SCISSORFIGHT: DOOMUS ABRUPTUS Vol.1

Didn't think I'd ever get to hear a new album from Scissorfight, so what a great surprise this was.  There are a new singer and drum player, but you won't feel like there's been a change at all because "Doomus Apruptus Vol.1" picks up right where "Victory Over Horseshit" left off.  This is blue-collar, heavy, bad-ass rock and roll, and would make the perfect soundtrack to any barfight.  Doomus Abruptus is everything you'd expect from a new Scissorfight album.  Here is one of my favorites, "Where Eagles Drink":

Scissorfight are from New Hampshire, and are:
Jay Fortin – guitar
Paul Jarvis – bass
Doug Aubin – vocals
Rick Orcut – drums
You can buy this album directly from Salt Of The Earth Records here,
or download from amazon

Now throw in Solace's new album, and I'm making the claim that the period from November 29th  through December 13th has produced more epic rock than any other 15 day period, period.

It's like Christmas came early.  Hope you enjoyed checking these tunes out
-ULTRA